You don’t know how it happened, but somehow you let down your guard, and a narcissist slipped into your life. You’ve been burned before, and you’re educated on their behavior. What threw you this time was that the narcissist was a woman.
Many people assume that narcissists are all men, but narcissism has no gender bias. Men, women, non-binary, intersex, transgender, and genderfluid — anyone can be a narcissist.
Narcissists are our mothers, sisters, aunts, bosses, co-workers, friends, spouses, and partners. Being in a relationship with a narcissist has its own set of challenges — especially if you don’t know that you’re dealing with one.
Female narcissist characteristics are closely aligned with behavior that’s often associated with women, such as focusing on appearance, gossiping, and jealousy, making the female narcissist sometimes difficult to identify.
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In an article on Thought Catalog, Shahida Arabi writes:
“The female narcissist (or sociopath) is just as dangerous as her male counterpart, and yet she is protected by prevailing stereotypes of the “gentle young girl,” the “maternal mother,” the “sweet old grandmother,” or minimized by archetypes like the “catty best friend.” No one suspects the older woman, assumed to be nurturing and sweet, to be vindictive, cruel, and ruthless. Nor do they expect mothers to abandon, neglect, or abuse their children.”
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My mother is a narcissist, and it took me a long time to realize it. Her complete lack of empathy should have been my first clue, but I just passed it off as a harmless personality trait.
My mother used to pray that I’d lose my house so I’d be forced to live with her. She didn’t consider how I’d suffer if I lost my house or any of the consequences of having my credit destroyed, only how she stood to gain.
When someone is self-centered in the extreme and has no room for compassion for others’ experiences, that’s a sign of a narcissistic personality.
The danger of a narcissist can’t be underestimated. They don’t care who they use or what they do to that person’s life, as long as they get what they need.
The first step in getting your power back from a narcissist is being able to recognize them.
Here’s a list of traits of female narcissists.
Not every narcissist has every characteristic, but they usually have a combination of several of these traits.
Some characteristics are unique to female narcissists, and some aren’t, but if you have a general knowledge of what kind of behavior to look out for, you’ll be better equipped to deal with them and protect yourself from emotional-damage.
1. She enjoys other people’s pain.
Some narcissists take pleasure in seeing other people suffer. This is a sadistic side to their personality, and they’ll try to cover it up, but it’s impossible to hide the shine in their eye when they see someone in torment — especially if they’re the cause of it.
People in anguish make the narcissist feel better about themselves as if life was one big game of Schadenfreude (taking pleasure by observing other people’s misfortune)but that pleasure is short-lived and empty.
2. She blames everyone else for her problems.
One character trait that all narcissists share is the inability to take responsibility for their mistakes, failures, and their own problems.
The narcissist sees themselves as practically perfect-always doing and saying the right things, so if they have a problem or issue, it has to be someone else’s fault.
If it’s obvious that the person who’s at fault is her, she’ll turn it around so that the responsibility lies with someone else. Narcissists are masters at placing the blame on someone other than themselves.
3. She plays the victim and has frequent tantrums and outbursts.
It’s so much easier for a narcissist to play the victim and feel like the elements have conspired against them than to face their challenges.
Since they also love drama and attention, they tend to get all worked up and then have a good old-fashioned meltdown. The more control they seem to lose, the more likely it is that someone will step up and offer to take care of the situation.
Also, if a narcissist is always the victim, then they feel as if they shouldn’t have to deal with any consequences of their bad behavior,
4. She’s two-faced and loves to gossip.
The female narcissist will be talking smack about you to someone else and then turn around and pretend to be outraged about it. For the narcissist, sharing other people’s secrets is a great way to bond with someone.
5. She’s charismatic, captivating, and charming.
A narcissist wouldn’t be able to draw anyone into their web if they weren’t attractive, dynamic, and appear to be someone you just had to be friends with — if they weren’t, they wouldn’t be able to get any “supply” or person to give them the attention and admiration they need.
Narcissists are emotionally unstable, but they use all their gifts to appear as if they’ve got it all together and are in control.
6. She’s gifted at emotional manipulation.
Narcissists are very talented at figuring out what someone needs emotionally and then exploiting it. They fake their emotions, acting as if they care what you’re going through (they don’t) or that they respect you.
Gaslighting is another of the narcissist’s tools and where they will deny that they said or did something. The more they can make you feel off-balance or confused, the better.
7. She’s overly concerned with her appearance.
Most people want to look good, but narcissists go beyond that and spend all their time, money, and energy to look their best. This kind of focus on the superficial goes beyond vanity as it’s an obsessive need to be beautiful, perfect, and young.
8. She’s extremely demanding.
Most narcissists aren’t known for their patience — they want what they want, and they want it now — no questions asked. If you’re not accommodating enough, then there’ll be trouble.
9. She’s materialistic.
Narcissists tend to use material items to feel better about themselves. If they don’t have money to buy themselves nice things, they’ll find somebody who can. Narcissists aren’t going to stick around once the money runs out unless they don’t have any other options.
10. She refuses to take responsibility for her actions.
Taking responsibility for their actions or the things that happen to the narcissist would take at least a small amount of self-awareness, and that’s one thing they lack.
11. She has difficulty respecting boundaries.
If you have clear boundaries, the narcissist will assume that they’re for other people — not her; she’s too special. You’ll have to stay firm and make sure your boundaries are clear for her even to recognize them.
12. She believes she’s never wrong.
She’s always right, and if she’s not, it’s not as if she’d ever admit that she was wrong. Again, coping with a mistake means taking responsibility, and narcissists
13. She feels no guilt in destroying your relationships.
First of all, a female narcissist doesn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to spend all their time with her. She feels she should always come first with everyone and when that’s not the case, she feels justified in sabotaging other people’s relationships.
14. Narcissists desire outside validation.
As much as a narcissist will say that they don’t need anyone else’s approval — they desperately do. They need a constant stream of compliments, praise, and affirmations.
15. She’s an expert liar.
The main person a narcissist lies to is herself, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t lie to everyone else. When one lies all the time, they start to believe that those lies are the truth, and they’ll remember the lies as what actually happened.
So much lying can lead to a distorted view of their own behavior, actions, and words and can cause a severe break with reality.
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The takeaway is this, look out for these behaviors, and if you think that someone in your life is a narcissist, look at what you can do to disconnect from them. If you’re bound to them in a way that’s not possible, try to make strict boundaries, and keep your guard up so that you don’t get hurt.
This post was previously published on Hello, Love.
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